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Photo: Ilias Bartolini

Researchers at Imperial College London have made a breakthrough discovery, which is believed to help millions of cancer patients all over the world to fight the disease.

According to the report, which was published in Science journal, the team has found the previously unknown protein that drives the spread of cancer-fighting T cells by causing a high energy boost.

When the immune system detects tumor, it normally starts generating a large quantity of cytotoxic T cells that kill viruses and cancer. However, the proliferation of T cells quickly decreases.

While conducting screens for genetic mutations in mice, the researchers discovered one type that produced 10 times the number of cancer-killing T cells, becoming resistant to tumor and viruses. These mice generated a large amount of the protein that is also found in humans.

The new molecule, entitled lymphocyte expansion molecule (LEM), makes the immune system generate more tumor-killing T cells by producing a large amount of energy. Moreover, it minimizes the risk of cancer recurrence by increasing immune memory cells, which help the body recognize viruses and tumors that have been previously discovered.

“Cancer cells have ways to suppress T cell activity, helping them to escape the immune system. Genetically engineering T cells to augment their ability to fight cancer has been a goal for some time and techniques for modifying them already exist. By introducing an active version of the LEM gene into the T cells of cancer patients, we hope we can provide a robust treatment for patients,” said Professor Philip Ashton-Rickardt, from the Section of Immunobiology in the Department of Medicine at Imperial College.

Dr Claudio Mauro, who carried out the research at Queen Mary University of London’s William Harvey Research Institute, stated: “This study has identified the novel protein LEM and unlocked an unexpected way of enhancing the ability of our immune system to fight viruses or cancers. This is based on the ability of the protein LEM to regulate specific energy circuits, and particularly mitochondrial respiration, in a subset of white blood cells known as cytotoxic T cells.”

Scientists are now planning to produce a gene therapy that will make the body fight off cancer or other viruses itself. Under the plan, they will use LEM to enhance T cells of patients and inject them back into the body.

The team is planning to commence human trials in 3 years, after testing the therapy in mice.

“Next we will test the therapy in mice, make sure it is safe and see if it can be combined with other therapies. If all goes well, we hope to be ready to carry out human trials in about three years,” Professor Philip Ashton-Rickardt said.

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According to TIME’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world published on Thursday, April 16, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are among those who made the cut.

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, claims in his TIME profile that “Kanye West would be the first person to tell you he belongs on this list.” In fact, Kanye West appears on one of the covers of TIME magazine which issues out on Friday. Speaking about the “Jesus Walks” rapper, Mr. Musk adds: “In his debut album, over a decade ago, Kanye issued what amounted to a social critique and a call to arms (with a beat): “We rappers is role models: we rap, we don’t think.” But Kanye does think. Constantly. About everything.”

Kim Kardashian was also named a Titan. Martha Stewart, founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, said that Kanye’s wife was “a media phenomenon” and added that Kim had about 29 million followers on Instagram and 31 million followers on Twitter.

“Beautiful in an exotic, totally exaggerated way, Kim exudes energy, sexuality, drama, determination, impetuousness and happiness. But she and her famous, entrepreneurial siblings—shepherded by a savvy, tireless matriarch—have also expanded the very definition of family,” writes Stewart.

Other famous and influential people who join Kim and Kanye on the list include Bradley Cooper, Reese Witherspoon, Lee Daniels, Chris Pratt, Amy Schumer, Vladimir Putin, Reid Hoffman, Angela Merkel, Hillary Clinton and more.

“In our annual TIME 100 issue, we tell 100 stories of individual influence. But taken together, these stories are an anthem to interaction, the convergence that occurs when a good idea goes viral. The technology that connects us also connects our worlds, of art and science and business and politics. So when we were debating whom to approach to write for this issue, we looked for people who could speak to their subject’s influence in all its dimensions,” said TIME Editor Nancy Gibbs.

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Google Maps is showing Edward Snowden as residing in the White House, within Edwards Snow Den, instead of Russia. Apparently, the location, that is verified by Google and classified as a snowboard shop, has five reviews that declare it as a “great source of classified information” and somewhere to get “top notch info on the cheap.”

The location, that is verified and classified by Google as a snowboard shop, has five reviews that declare it as a “great source of classified information” and somewhere to get “top notch info on the cheap.”

It is not hard to add something to Google Maps, it is much harder to add it in a way that it is verified to a particular address. According to Google, Edwards Snow Den is a verified place.

However, it turned out to be the result of someone cleverly changing the location of a business listing after it had gone live on Google Maps.

According to Google, the listing was removed. However, the listing is still viewable, even though one can be sure that Google is working hard to remove Snowden from the White House.

There is another odd listing, which appears within the West Wing of the White House, that is for “cCross law firm,” with a link that leads to an animated, musical page for what might be a legal firm in Japan.

Besides, the US Department of the Treasury is showing that it is home to Freddy frazbear’s pizza, a typoed version of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, the fictional setting of indie horror game Five Nights at Freddy’s.

However, Edward Snowden has been staying in Russia since fleeing the U.S. in 2013.

Apparently, according to Search Engine Land, the guy who managed to create fake listings for the US Secret Service and the FBI in Google Maps last year, actually did that again with the Snowden / White house listing. Bryan Seely did that to demonstrate a weakness with Google Maps.

Seely created a business in Google Maps at an address where he could receive mail and with a phone number he could receive calls to. Google sent a verification postcard to his address. When the business was verified, he deleted it from his account. Then he used another Google account to claim the new orphaned business. He gained control over it by doing verification via phone. When that happened, he was free to move the business to anywhere he wanted, change the name and alter other details.

When the US Secret Service and the FBI listings came to light, Google quickly removed them and said that it would be much harder to do such things in the future. However, according to Seely, Google blocked the telephone verification option that was involved for about six weeks, then allowed it to resume. He said that he was surprised that a year after all this happened, he was still able to do the same thing.

“They didn’t take steps. They didn’t take action. What’s to stop me from doing this to a congressman?” Seely said.

On the whole, Seely likes Google: “Google as a company as a whole, with their top level leadership, is a great company.” However, he added: “It’s disheartening. It’s like finding out your favorite company is a piece of sh**.”

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Apple Inc.'s first foray into the world of smartwatches generated nearly 1 million pre-orders in the United States one day before it became available for public. Photo: kazscape/Flickr
Apple Inc.'s first foray into the world of smartwatches generated nearly 1 million pre-orders in the United States one day before it became available for public. Photo: kazscape/Flickr
Apple Inc.’s first foray into the world of smartwatches generated nearly 1 million pre-orders in the United States one day before it became available for public. Photo: kazscape/Flickr

The research firm Slice Intelligence calculated that 957,000 people in the U.S. placed orders for the iPhone maker’s brand new product on the first day it became available.

The high anticipated device was sold out online within a few hours. Buyers of some models won’t receive their devices until next month, while others will have to wait until July.

“The most popular type of case is the Space Gray aluminum case, with 40 percent of Apple Watch buyers choosing the option, followed by: stainless steel at 34 percent, silver aluminum at 23 percent and finally Space Black stainless steel at three percent,” the company reported.

“The Black Sport Band was by far the most popular among both Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sport buyers, with 49 percent overall pre-ordering one, followed by the White Sport Band at 16 percent and the more expensive Milanese Loop ($149 versus $49 for the black Sport band) rounding out the top three at around 10 percent.”

Slice Intelligence looked at sample data from 9,080 online shoppers, and estimated that each Apple Watch buyer ordered an average of 1.3 watches and spent an average of $503.83 per device.

Apple unveiled its long-awaited smartwatch back in March, making some investors wondering whether Apple Watch would become a breakaway hit.

“Apple is being cautious. There are too many unknowns around how this product will perform,” said Van Baker, research vice president at technology research firm Gartner Inc.

Until now, wearable gadgets have not been big sellers for technology companies. Rival products such as Samsung’s Gear watches have sold poorly.

Apple hopes to change that, but it is still a big if whether the watch will appeal to buyers seeking a fashion accessory, especially if it needs to be upgraded every few years like Apple’s phones, tablets and computers.

“It could do wonders for the watch market if it means people might wear watches again, but realistically, there are a lot of doubts,” said Eric Wilson, fashion news director of InStyle.

“Fashion customers are more skeptical than anyone, so Apple has picked a tough crowd.”

The Apple Watch has the ability to make and receive phone calls (with the help of an Apple iOS mobile phone) and a new feature called Digital Touch that allows you to send transmissions to a friend with Apple Watch.

Communication with an Apple iPhone is provided via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth so if a user is in his home or network, he doesn’t have to be within a limited Bluetooth range.  Which is more, the Apple Watch is designed to have “all-day” battery life.

All the watches feature digital faces that can look like traditional time pieces, show the heart beat of a friend, and display photos and interfaces for apps.

“Apple’s been very good at personalizing its products,” said Angelo Zino, an analyst at S&P Capital IQ, who said the “intimacy” of the watch was appealing. He saw 10 million in sales this year.

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video-conferencing-for-e-learning-mindful-approach-01
Photo: BlueJeans

Thanks to the Internet, students can receive a degree by literally staying at home and taking tests in their underwear. So the question that must be asked is: How can we still get a decent classroom experience, with a professor who will be there to advise you on what to do next, without having to sacrifice the convenience or comfort an online school provides? The answer is really quite simple: video conferencing.

BlueJeans video conferencing for e-learning is the best alternative for online schools and universities to connect everybody who is a part of their program, whether it’s professors to their students, students to other students, or the administration to their staff.

Indeed, one could argue that video conferencing capability is essential to the continued success of the school and those who are enrolled in it. But questions must be answered before you can truly determine if video conferencing is right for you.

What BlueJeans Video Conferencing Can Do For You

According to the University of Surrey, one of the foremost academic institutions in the United Kingdom, “videoconferencing allows individuals or groups in different locations to see and hear each other.”

From a university aspect, they argue that many different applications exist for video conferencing such as supervision meetings for Masters or Doctoral students, guest lectures, and building study groups. They truly believe that hosting video conferences for the student body and staff is an ideal way to enhance learning and teaching with technology.

The benefits of video conferencing for e-learning applications are truly massive. Not only can online schools and universities use the technology for staying connected with the student body and staff, but traditional brick-and-mortar education bodies can use video conferencing to enhance the learning experience.

According to the smart folks at How Stuff Works, “approximately 25 percent of public, primary and secondary schools in the United States supplement their curriculums with video conferencing education.”

We, at BlueJeans, feel that this number is entirely too low as many schools do not decide to make the upgrade for whatever reason. However, they are also probably not taking into account that video conferencing, if used in the right ways by a teacher comfortable with the idea, can “ignite an interest and enthusiasm for learning that traditional teaching methods sometimes can’t.”

By bringing interactive lessons to the classroom, not only will students of any age respond with a great deal of excitement, causing them to learn easier, but the teacher will also have access to a lot more teaching resources than is available at the school alone. This almost always translates into higher grades and, therefore, a higher graduation percentage.

Limitations and Questions on Video Conferencing

However, one must not confuse video conferencing with e-learning. They are not quite the same thing. Video conferencing is really just an aspect of e-learning, or “distance learning” as some schools call it.

While an essential part of the experience, there are many other things going into e-learning than simply sitting down with a professor through a webcam. Present-day limitations must be considered if you feel like you want to put in video conferencing capability to your distance learning curriculum.

This article and the comments connected to it give evidence to some of the limitations that might be associated with video conference technology. It brings up the question, specifically, about how video conferencing for e-learning applications can potentially negatively affect the website’s performance and therefore the experience of your user base, whether they are staff or students.

It also asks how smaller businesses, such as exclusively online universities who do not require the same amount of space as their physical counterparts, might be able to implement video conferencing without a great deal of the overhead costs associated with the technology and without the beefiness of larger applications like Skype.

One of the comments, given by Gary Wise, says that video conferencing for e-learning is absolutely doable, but a college or distance learning center must proceed with caution. The biggest question regarding the technology that must be asked is if you have the suitable bandwidth to support video conference calls without any associated lag.

If you don’t, Wise suggests “to engage your IS department early if you’re utilizing a corporate network [.]” Furthermore, he states that you shouldn’t simply ask for more bandwidth. You need “to build a business case around strategically aligned business applications that deliver a measurable impact to the org.”

In short: video conferencing for e-learning shouldn’t be there just to give students extra options. It needs to be part of your fabric as an educational institution as well as a business. If you feel that you can support it and you really do need it, this fantastic service just might be the right fit for you.

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The Californian tech giant launched its long-anticipated nevice on Monday, revealing to public its yellow and rose gold variations with sapphire faces costing up to $17,000, while some investors were wondering whether Apple Watch would become a breakaway hit.

“Apple is being cautious. There are too many unknowns around how this product will perform,” said Van Baker, research vice president at technology research firm Gartner Inc.

Until now, wearable gadgets have not been big sellers for technology companies. Rival products such as Samsung’s Gear watches have sold poorly.

Apple hopes to change that, but it is still a big if whether the watch will appeal to buyers seeking a fashion accessory, especially if it needs to be upgraded every few years like Apple’s phones, tablets and computers.

“It could do wonders for the watch market if it means people might wear watches again, but realistically, there are a lot of doubts,” said Eric Wilson, fashion news director of InStyle.

“Fashion customers are more skeptical than anyone, so Apple has picked a tough crowd.”

Apple’s first new device since Cook became Chief Executive will be available for order on April 10 and in stores on April 24, including chic boutiques in Paris, London and Tokyo.

The Apple Watch has the ability to make and receive phone calls (with the help of an Apple iOS mobile phone) and a new feature called Digital Touch that allows you to send transmissions to a friend with Apple Watch.

Communication with an Apple iPhone is provided via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth so if a user is in his home or network, he doesn’t have to be within a limited Bluetooth range.  Which is more, the Apple Watch is designed to have “all-day” battery life.

The novelty will be available in three collections, Apple Watch Sport, priced at $349 and $399 (US); Apple Watch, available from $549 to $1,099; and Apple Watch Edition, crafted from custom rose or yellow 18-karat gold alloys, with prices starting at $10,000.

All the watches feature digital faces that can look like traditional time pieces, show the heart beat of a friend, and display photos and interfaces for apps.

“Apple’s been very good at personalizing its products,” said Angelo Zino, an analyst at S&P Capital IQ, who said the “intimacy” of the watch was appealing. He saw 10 million in sales this year.

The just announced updated MacBook now has an Intel Core M that draws only 5 Watts of power with a new, Terraced Contoured Battery technology “All Day Battery Life” (9 hours); 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0, an all-new USB-C Connector which not only transfers data via USB 3.1, but also powers the laptop, and has video out – all in a single connector.

The new device will go on sale at the price of $1299 for 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and 1.1 GHz Intel Core M processor with Intel HD Graphics 5300 power. There will also be a 1.2 GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor with Turbo Boost version that provides speeds of up to 2.6GHz, 8GB of memory, 512GB of flash storage and Intel HD Graphics 5300 available starting at $1,599 as well.

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Harrison Ford crash-landed the airplane shortly after taking off. Photo: Historias Segunda Guerra Mundial/Flickr

The Hollywood actor has been hospitalised after crashing a small plane onto a golf course near Los Angeles.

The 72-year-old star suffered “moderate” injuries after crashing the vintage two-seater plane he was piloting on to the green at Penmar golf course near Santa Monica’s municipal airport on Thursday afternoon.

Paramedics report that Harrison is “alert and conscious” though he suffers “moderate trauma”, Patrick Butler, Los Angeles assistant fire chief, told a press conference at the scene.

Paramedics “initiated spinal immobilisation, started an IV and began all the necessary medical protocols that we do,” Butler said.

He added: “We are very thankful that the passenger had [only] very moderate injuries.”

Sources familiar with the matter said Ford suffered lacerations to his face and possible fractures. Leaked photos show the actor on a stretcher being taken into an ambulance.

The United Talent Agency, which represents Ford, said in a statement that his plane stalled upon take off. “He had no other choice but to make an emergency landing, which he did safely. He was banged up and is in the hospital receiving medical care. The injuries sustained are not life threatening, and he is expected to make a full recovery.”

Several hours after the crash the actor’s son, Ben, tweeted: “At the hospital. Dad is ok. Battered, but ok! He is every bit the man you would think he is. He is an incredibly strong man.” He expressed thanks for people’s “thoughts and good vibes for my dad”.

“The Star Wars actor reported engine failure to the Santa Monica airport control tower moments after taking off. In a curt, composed-sounding message he requested “immediate return” and was cleared to land but did not make it to the runway,” The Guardian writes.

“Ford is a veteran pilot and has survived at least one previous accident. He was the only occupant of the plane, a Ryan PT-22 Recruit, which was used for training during the second world war.”

He adores flying’s “combination of freedom and responsibility”, the actor joked in a 2002 Playboy interview. “It’s anonymity. I’m not Harrison Ford, I’m November 1128 Sierra.”

A Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman, Officer Nuria Vanegas, blamed the crash on mechanical failure. “It was mechanical failure of plane. That’s what caused the accident.”

Patrick Jones, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator, condirmed that the pilot was “absolutely” lucky to escape with his life.

“We believe that he is going to survive… Anytime a pilot survives an accident, that is a good thing. I’m sure the pilot is glad that there was a golf course here. ”

Carlos Lugo, 63, who was playing golf at the course when he saw the plane turn around in an apparent attempt to return to the runway. “When he flew over us we knew it was too late to make it back to the airport.” It went through some trees as it came down, he said.

“There was blood all over his face.” He added two doctors who happened to be nearby also helped. “Two very fine doctors were treating him, taking good care of him.”

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Hillary Clinton demands her emails to be unveiled for the public. Photo: Canal 6 Honduras/Flickr
Hillary Clinton demands her emails to be unveiled for the public. Photo: Canal 6 Honduras/Flickr
Hillary Clinton demands her emails to be unveiled for the public. Photo: Canal 6 Honduras/Flickr

The former Secretary of State embroiled in a controversy over her use of personal email during her time at the White House, saying late Wednesday that she’s asked the State Department to release her some of her correspondence.

“I want the public to see my email,” Clinton said in a tweet Wednesday evening. “I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.”

A New York Times report published earlier this week set off a severe criticism, suggesting that the politician violated State Department regulations by using a personal email account for government business, potentially shielding her correspondence from public inquiries like Freedom of Information Act requests.

Her email account, clintonemail.com, was hosted by a server located at her home, and reportedly “became a symbol of status within the family’s inner circle.”

“Clinton’s advisers submitted some 50,000 pages of emails to the State Department two months ago at the government’s request, but critics maintained that using private email allowed Clinton to pick and choose which documents to submit with no way to verify the process. A House panel investigating the 2012 terror attacks in Benghazi, Libya, on Wednesday issued a subpoena for any and all of Clinton’s private emails related to the attack,” The Huffington Post writes.

The State Department said late Thursday it would “take some time” to complete a review of the emails provided by Clinton.

“The State Department will review for public release the emails provided by Secretary Clinton to the Department, using a normal process that guides such releases. We will undertake this review as quickly as possible; given the sheer volume of the document set, this review will take some time to complete,” department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement.

The former First Lady made headlines last year when she voiced her support for gay marriages

“I believe America is at its best when we champion the freedom and dignity of every human being,’’ Mrs. Clinton said in a video posted on YouTube by the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights advocacy group.

In the six-minute video she claims that gays and lesbians are “full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship.” “That includes marriage,” she says, adding that she backs gay marriage both “personally and as a matter of policy and law.”

“L.G.B.T. Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones, and they are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship,’’ she said in the six-minute video, using the abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. “That includes marriage.’’

Mrs. Clinton spoke in the video of the recent wedding of her own daughter, Chelsea, saying, “I wish every parent that same joy.’’

At the time, reporters believed that Clinton’s embrace of same-sex marriage signaled that the powerful politician may be considering a 2016 presidential run and trying to avoid the type of late-to-the-party caution that hurt her first bid.

“I’m sure she’s been there for awhile now, and politically it’s imperative for a Democratic presidential aspirant, so her timing is perfect,” said Steve Murphy, a Democratic consultant who ran former congressman Dick Gephardt’s 2004 presidential bid.

By the way, in August of 2007, the now-former secretary voiced her opposition to legalizing gay marriage but tried to cast it in a less negative light.

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Jennifer Lawrence will play Addario, a role apparently coveted by Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman and Margot Robbie. Photo: instareviews/Flickr
Jennifer Lawrence will play Addario, a role apparently coveted by Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman and Margot Robbie. Photo: instareviews/Flickr
Jennifer Lawrence will play Addario, a role apparently coveted by Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman and Margot Robbie. Photo: instareviews/Flickr

The “Hunger Games” star will perform role of war photographer Lynsey Addario in a movie directed by Steven Spielberg, based on Addario’s memoir.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist has photographed victims of conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Darfur and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and was even kidnapped in Libya.

After her kidnap ordeal, she returned to her husband, started a family, and took a step back from the frontline. Though the woman has faced criticism at being a mother and a war photographer: “Everyone is having a field day judging what a horrible woman I am, what a bad mother I am. I find it fascinating that anyone feels like they have the right to tell me how to live my life.”

Her book, “It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life Of Love And War” became the subject of a film studio bidding war when it was published last month.

Sources familiar with the matter revealed that Warner Bros film studio had secured the rights to the book with the famous director attached to work on the film.

“In the wake of the enormous success of another story about the tensions between battlefield and family, American Sniper, a film adaptation was always likely,” writes The Guardian.

“Various players pitched for the chance to tell Addario’s story, including George Clooney and Argo producer Grant Heslov; Working Title, with Reese Witherspoon attached to star; Darren Aronofsky with Natalie Portman; and Wolf of Wall Street actor Margot Robbie. In the end it was the blue-chip combo of Steven Spielberg and Jennifer Lawrence who secured Warner Bros the deal. American Sniper producer Andrew Lazar is also attached.”

Jennifer Lawrence has recently became a victim of a hacker group that stole nude photos of celebrities.

Speaking exclusively with Vanity Fair’s contributing editor Sam Kashner, the “Hunger Games” star said she felt violated and was afraid how the hacked photographs would affect her career.

“It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime,” said Lawrence in her interview, promoting new movie “Serena” with Bradley Cooper. “It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting.”

“The law needs to be changed, and we need to change. That’s why these websites are responsible. Just the fact that somebody can be sexually exploited and violated, and the first thought that crosses somebody’s mind is to make a profit from it. It’s so beyond me. I just can’t imagine being that detached from humanity. I can’t imagine being that thoughtless and careless and so empty inside.”

Numerous photographs of Lawrence were distributed online, in what her publicist at the time called “a flagrant violation of privacy”, adding that “the authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence.”

The Oscar-winning actress said she certainly didn’t give anyone permission to look at her body and condemns everyone who even looked at the controversial photos

“Anybody who looked at those pictures, you’re perpetuating a sexual offence. You should cower with shame. Even people who I know and love say, ‘Oh, yeah, I looked at the pictures.’ I don’t want to get mad, but at the same time I’m thinking, ‘I didn’t tell you that you could look at my naked body’.”

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Photo: Martin Le-May

A baby weasel took the ride of its life on the back of a woodpecker, and a photographer just appeared to be lucky enough to capture the incredible moment.

Photographer Martin Le-May was on a walk at Hornchurch Country Park in East London on Monday when he heard a distressed call and spotted a woodpecker fall behind some grass. The bird was thrashing, and Le-May and his wife noticed there was an animal on its back. It was a weasel.

“As we walked we heard a distressed squawking and I saw that flash of green. So hurriedly I pointed out to Ann the bird and it settled into the grass behind a couple of small silver birch trees. Both of us trained our binoculars and it occurred that the woodpecker was unnaturally hopping about like it was treading on a hot surface,” he said.

“Lots of wing flapping showing that gloriously yellow/white colour interspersed with the flash of red head feathers. Just after I switched from my binoculars to my camera the bird flew across us and slightly in our direction; suddenly it was obvious it had a small mammal on its back and this was a struggle for life.”

The photographer added: “The woodpecker landed in front of us and I feared the worst. I guess though our presence, maybe 25 meters away, momentarily distracted the weasel. The woodpecker seized the opportunity and flew up and away into some bushes away to our left. Quickly the bird gathered its self respect and flew up into the trees and away from our sight. The woodpecker left with its life. The weasel just disappeared into the long grass, hungry.”

Wildlife expert Lucy Cooke explained that while they usually attack rabbits, weasels are “fearless” predators and it isn’t totally shocking that one would go after a woodpecker, a ground-feeder.

“A female weasel weighs less than a Mars Bar but is as ferocious as a lion, so this is why the woodpecker would have been able to take off with it on its back,” Cooke said.

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Samsung unveiled to the world its newest Galaxy S device with a slim body made from aircraft-grade metal, in a bid to reclaim the throne of global smartphone leader from Apple. Photo: TGspot.co.il/Flickr
Samsung unveiled to the world its newest Galaxy S device with a slim body made from aircraft-grade metal, in a bid to reclaim the throne of global smartphone leader from Apple. Photo: TGspot.co.il/Flickr
Samsung unveiled to the world its newest Galaxy S device with a slim body made from aircraft-grade metal, in a bid to reclaim the throne of global smartphone leader from Apple. Photo: TGspot.co.il/Flickr

Designed from scratch, the new Samsung flagship and its curved-edges variant are critical for the company’s plans to reverse plunging smartphone revenues that led to its first annual earnings fall in three years in 2014.

According to some experts familiar with the matter, the Cupertino based tech giant surpassed its Korean rival as the world’s biggest smartphone maker last year, selling a record 74.5 million iPhones in the December quarter on the back of the success of its big-screen iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

To compare, Galaxy S5 was outsold in its second full month of global sales by Apple’s older iPhone 5S, claims researcher Counterpoint.

The Korean company begins its fight-back on April 10 when the revamped Galaxy phones, unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Sunday, hit the market in one of the most important product launches in the company’s history.

“We listen to our customers and we learn from our missteps,” J.K. Shin, Samsung’s president and chief executive told a packed hall in Barcelona’s convention center. “I may not be the best public speaker. That is because my first language is engineering,” he added.

Samsung hasn’t disclosed pricetags of the just released devices or where they will appear first but revealed on Sunday that the phone will go on sale in 20 countries.

The list of notable features includes casing made from light-weight metal used in airplanes, a step up from the plastic that disappointed many critics of the S5, and Corning Inc’s Gorilla Glass on both front and back.

The Galaxy S6 upgrades the previous version’s camera and screen, and strips out many of Samsung’s unpopular in-house software apps that infuriated users by gobbling memory. It and the Galaxy S6 Edge will also be powered by Samsung’s new 64-bit, 14-nanometer Exynos processors, analysts said.

“This offers the promise of delivering better overall margins for Samsung and, in time, differentiated performance from rivals, as Apple has achieved” with their own chip used in iPhones, said Ian Fogg, an analyst at IHS Technology.

“But it’s a high-risk, high-reward strategy,” he added.

“The new phones pack in most of the features of the Galaxy S5, such as a dedicated heart rate monitor on the back and an infra-red blaster so you can use your phone as a sophisticated TV remote. This is handy if you’ve dropped the original behind the settee cushions but not everyone will feel this is a feature they need,” Independent reports.

“With sales falling and profits going down along with them, Samsung needed to do something much bigger and better this year than it did with the S5 last year. For most intents and purposes, the S6 and S6 Edge are just that: they are dramatically nicer and better phones than Samsung has ever produced. But it’s hard not to say that this is the phone the S5 should have been a year ago, and Samsung is still going to be playing catch up with Apple,” concluded The Verge.

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Madonna falls off stage when performing during Brit Awards. Photo: News.com.ua
Madonna falls off stage when performing during Brit Awards. Photo: News.com.ua
Madonna falls off stage when performing during Brit Awards. Photo: News.com.ua

The singer fell from the podium during her performance at the Brit Awards after one of dancers accidentally pulled her down a flight of stairs.

Madonna was standing at the top of the stairs wearing a long cape with a flowing train that billowed down to the stage, singing the first words of Living for Love.

She appeared to be struggling to take off the cape, and when a dancer at the bottom tried to whip it away he took Madonna with it.

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But the singer soon recovered and returned to continue the song.

The 56-year-old later posted a statement assuring her fans she was “fine” and that her cape had been “tied too tight”.

“Nothing can stop me and love really lifted me up,” she wrote on Instagram, referencing the lyrics to her song. “Thanks for your good wishes!”

The incident took place at the end of the ceremony where Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith shared the honours, winning two awards each.

An average of 5.3 million people tuned in to the ceremony on ITV, according to overnight ratings – rising to 5.8 million when ITV+1 viewers are added in.

That is up from the 4.6 million who tuned in last year – but less than 2013’s overnight audience of 6.5 million.

Ed took home the night’s main award, album of the year, for his record X – which was the best-selling record of 2014 in the UK.

“I was really worried abut this album,” he said, accepting his trophy from actor Russell Crowe. “It took a long time to make.”

The star added it had been a “very, very good year for British music”.

“I don’t think a statue gives justification of people’s success,” he continued.

Sam Smith took home best breakthrough artist and the global success award – recognising album sales outside the UK.

“Since I was a little kid I dreamed of people all over the world singing my songs and although I’ve got a long way to go, this shows that I’m stepping in the right direction.”

Earlier, Taylor Swift opened the show, performing her hit single Blank Space surrounded by dancers in white suits and bowler hats.

“I started out playing King’s College [in London] and eight years later I’m getting ready to play Hyde Park,” she said backstage. “It’s like… what?”

“Oh my god, wow,” said Swift. “I’ve been coming to England and playing shows for eight years and this is my first Brit Award, I’m so happy.”

Paloma Faith was named best British female, and also alluded to her slow-building career.

“This has been 13 years in the making and I’m going to gob off a bit,” she told the audience at London’s O2 Arena.

“Mark Ronson won best single for Uptown Funk, while Brighton rock duo Royal Blood were presented with best British Group by rock legend Jimmy Page,” BBC reports.

“The band also performed at the show, alongside George Ezra and Kanye West, who premiered a new song All Day, which had to be heavily censored by ITV.”

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Eddie Ray was convicted Tuesday in the deaths of the “American Sniper” author and another man at a shooting range, as jurors belive that he wan’t insane and didn’t suffer from psychosis.

The trial of the former Marine has drawn interest, in part because of the blockbuster film based on former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle’s memoir about his four tours in Iraq.

As prosecutors didn’t seek the death penalty in the capital murder case, the gunman received an automatic life sentence without right for parole in the deaths of two men.

The prosecution described the convict as a terrible drug user who knew right from wrong, despite any mental illnesses. While trial testimony and evidence often included Routh making odd statements and referring to insanity, he also confessed several times, apologized for the crimes and tried to evade police.

“Criminal law experts said the verdict hinged on whether the defense could prove Routh was insane and did not know the killings were wrong at the time they were committed. Jurors had three options: Find Routh guilty of capital murder, find him not guilty, or find him not guilty by reason of insanity. If found not guilty by reason of insanity, the court could have initiated proceedings to have him committed to a state mental hospital,” Mashable writes.

“Kyle and Littlefield had taken Routh to the shooting range at Rough Creek Lodge and Resort on Feb. 2, 2013, after Routh’s mother asked Kyle to help her troubled son. Family members say Routh suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from serving in Iraq and in Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake.”

Among evidence provided to jurors by prosecutors was a recorded call between Routh and a reporter from “The New Yorker” magazine in which the killed confessed that he was annoyed Littlefield wasn’t shooting, but instead seemed to be watching him.

“Are you gonna shoot? Are you gonna shoot? It’s a shooting sport. You shoot,” Routh said. “That’s what got me all riled up.”

Defense attorneys said Routh, who had been prescribed anti-psychotic medication often used for schizophrenia, believed the men planned to kill him.

“I had to take care of business. I took care of business, and then I got in the truck and left,” Routh said in the phone call.

A resort employee found the bodies of the two men about 5 p.m.; each had been shot several times. Soon after that Routh pulled up to his sister’s home in Kyle’s truck and told her he had killed two people.

She called police, who later located the gunman sitting in the truck not far from home. A police video shows officers trying to coax him from the truck while he made comments including: “I don’t know if I’m going insane” and “Is this about hell walking on earth right now?”

“He told us he’d taken a couple of souls and he had more souls to take,” Lancaster police Lt. Michael Smith testified.

Routh later took off and led authorities on a chase before the truck became disabled and he was arrested.

Littlefield’s mother, Judy, gave a brief statement to reporters outside the courthouse after the verdict was read. “We’ve waited two years for God to get justice for us on behalf of our son and as always God has proved to be faithful,” she said, holding back tears. “We’re so thrilled that we have the verdict that we have tonight.”

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